Biden Drives Electric Jeep Around White House to Announce Nation's New EV Goals

Sophie Hirsh - Author

Aug. 6 2021, Published 11:54 a.m. ET

Biden Electric Car
Source: Getty Images

President Joe Biden answers questions from reporters after driving a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Xe around the White House driveway following remarks during an event on the South Lawn of the White House Aug. 5, 2021 in Washington, D.C.

Obama sets environmental rule. Trump rolls back Obama rule. Biden rolls back Trump rule.

We’ve seen this pattern happen many times — and now, it’s being applied to the world of gas-powered cars. In a push to reduce vehicle emissions, President Joe Biden has announced a plan for half of all vehicle sales to be electric vehicles by the year 2030.

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He already has the country’s biggest car manufacturers in on his plan — here’s everything we know so far.

Joe Biden electric vehicle
Source: Getty Images

President Joe Biden climbs out of a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Xe after driving it around the White House driveway following remarks during an event on the South Lawn of the White House Aug. 5, 2021 in Washington, D.C.

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Biden is making a push for electric vehicles.

On Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, Biden announced his newest executive order in a press conference on the White House’s South Lawn.

“Today, I’m signing an executive order setting out a target of 50 percent of all passenger vehicles sold by 2030 will be electric and set into motion an all-out effort,” Biden told reporters. He explained that “automakers representing nearly the entire auto industry market” have “positioned around the ambition” that by 2030, 40 to 50 percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S. will be electric.

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Biden plans to achieve this goal through his Build Back Better plan, which he explains does “three critical things” for the transportation industry. First, the plan will modernize U.S. transportation infrastructure, including roads, highways, airports, public transportation, and installing 500,000 EV charging stations.

Second, the Build Back Better plan will boost U.S. manufacturing capacity, which Biden said will create good-paying jobs; it will also issue grants, loans, and tax credits to help manufacture more EVs. Additionally, the country will invest in research and development to help improve the supply chains for parts needed for EVs, such as batteries and semiconductors (which we are currently facing a shortage of).

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Third, the plan will help consumers and businesses make this transition to EVs by offering incentives, and by converting the federal government’s fleet of about 600,000 vehicles into American-made clean vehicles — something he proposed during his first week in office.

General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler are all on board with electrifying their cars.

Biden Electric Car

President Joe Biden delivers remarks during an event on the South Lawn of the White House Aug. 5, 2021 in Washington, D.C.

Biden revealed that has been working on this executive order with the “Big Three” American auto manufacturers — General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co, and Chrysler (owned by Dutch parent company Stellantis).

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The brands put out a joint statement, declaring that they hope to each “achieve sales of 40 to 50 percent of annual U.S. volumes of electric vehicles (battery electric, fuel cell and plug-in hybrid vehicles) by 2030 in order to move the nation closer to a zero-emissions future consistent with Paris climate goals.”

“They’re a vision of the future that is now beginning to happen, a future of the automobile industry that is electric — battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, fuel cell electric,” Biden said at the press conference, referring to the electric cars beside him on the White House grounds (one of which he even got to drive around the grounds). “It’s electric, and there’s no turning back.”

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Biden is reversing Trump’s paltry emission standards.

Additionally, Biden announced that he plans to reverse the Trump administration’s rollbacks on Obama-era rules regarding vehicle emissions and efficiency, noting that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation are working on doing that.

Trump’s rules included allowing U.S. cars to emit almost 1 billion more tons of CO2 than they were permitted to during the Obama administration, as reported by The New York Times. Now, the rules that Biden and the aforementioned agencies are proposing will reverse that — among other related regulations. The new rules apply to vehicles with a model year of 2023 or later, and are expected to slash annual U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by about one-third, and stop about 200 billion gallons of gasoline from being burnt, as per The Times.

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